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Comic Writers & Artists Pay Tribute to Beano Legend Leo Baxendale

There’s been an outpouring of heartfelt tributes from the comic community after Leo Baxendale passed away aged 86…

He was the man responsible for creating some of Beano’s most well-loved characters, including Minnie the Minx and The Bash Street Kids, and now a host of illustrators and comic lovers have paid tribute to Leo Baxendale, after the legendary cartoonist passed away aged 86.

During a long career, Baxendale worked for Beano, Wham! and Smash! Comics, was an avid campaigner against the Vietnam War, founded the publishing house Reaper Books and wrote the I Love You Baby Basil! comic strip for the Guardian for a year before retiring in 1992 to focus on publishing books.

The comics historian Denis Gifford has called him “the most influential and most imitated comics artist of modern times” and he was inducted into the British Comic Awards Hall of Fame in 2013. 

“It’s no understatement to say that I literally wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for Leo,” Andy Fanton – who currently writes strips for Minnie, the Bash Street Kids and other Baxendale creations – said. “His influence runs beyond that though.

"I became aware of his work as a kid when I got my hands on older Beano books and read some of those early strips – his anarchic, riotous style was so distinctive and had so often been emulated or adapted by others who came after him that it still felt completely fresh … Legendary is a word bandied about quite liberally these days, but Leo definitely was legendary, and long may his legacy last!”

His eldest son Martin, who also works as a cartoonist, said Baxendale was “an impossible act to follow”.

“His drawings were always both very, very funny and sublimely well drawn,” he added. “Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling to my greetings card and gift-book scribbles. He cast a long shadow and will be greatly missed now he’s gone.”

You can follow the adventures of some of Baxendale’s chaos-causing characters by grabbing a subscription to the Beano today – saving yourself up to 46% off.

Instagram images from @piersanddominic, @colinwebb47 & @leedsinspired


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